Anthropometric Indices and Nutritional Assessments in the Elderly: Brazilian Perspectives

  • Aline Rodrigues Barbosa
  • Lúcia Andréia Zanette Ramos Zeni
  • Ileana Arminda Mourão Kazapi


Anthropometry is a low-cost, easy-to-perform method that allows diagnosis, stratification, and monitoring of the nutritional status of the elderly, indicating that it is useful to assess the health conditions of the elderly population. Brazil is going through a rapid aging process and some studies, carried out in the last 20 years, presented the anthropometric characteristics and the nutritional status of the Brazilian elderly individuals (≥60 years). The data from the population-based and household studies have been discussed in this study. According to earlier studies, sex and age are factors that determine the anthropometric changes. The patterns of alterations with increasing age in anthropometric characteristics are similar; however, the intensity of the alterations varies between populations and studies. With increasing age, there is a reduction in the stature and body mass, which is more intense for women. In addition, there is a reduction in muscle mass and subcutaneous fat, which is greater for men and women, respectively. Along with the loss of muscle mass, there is a greater accumulation of central adiposity in women. However, after the age of 75 years, central adiposity reduction occurs more rapidly in men. Overweight or obesity is more prevalent among women and underweight is more common in men, irrespective of their age. With increasing age, there is a reduction in the prevalence of obesity and an increase in the prevalence of being underweight, which is more evident after the age of 75 years. Data from earlier studies can be used for surveillance and for planning actions that intend to prevent or improve nutritional inadequacy in the Brazilian elderly population.


Obesity Migration Osteoporosis Income Stratification 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



American Academy of Family Physicians


Arm circumference


Arm muscle circumference


Body mass


Body mass index


Calf circumference


Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística


National Survey on Health and Nutrition (Pesquisa Nacional sobre Saúde e Nutrição)


Pan-American Health Organization


Survey on Health, Aging and Well being in Latin America and the Caribbean


Triceps skinfold thickness


Waist circumference


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aline Rodrigues Barbosa
    • 1
  • Lúcia Andréia Zanette Ramos Zeni
  • Ileana Arminda Mourão Kazapi
  1. 1.Departamento de Educação FísicaUniversidade Federal de SantaFlorianópolisBrazil

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